Feds Cut 25% Of Water Allocation To Arizona Due To Missed Deadlines

Bryan Dijkhuizen

These states failed the deadline and this is what will happen.

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Note From The Author

The opinion of the author is his own and has no affiliation with the topic that was included. Sources that are used in this article are the following: TheHill and for information about individuals, he used Wikipedia.


The deadline that the federal government set for the states that are located along the Colorado River to develop a new water-sharing agreement was officially missed, and on Tuesday, the federal government announced new water allocation reductions.

These reductions include cuts of nearly 25 percent to Arizona's water allocation.

The upper basin of the Colorado River serves Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming. The lower basin of the Colorado River serves Arizona, California, and Nevada.

The waters of the Colorado River basin are divided up according to the terms of an agreement that is more than a century old and dates back to a time when there was significantly more water in the river.

60 Days To Make Plans

In June, the Department of the Interior issued the states a deadline of sixty days to come to an agreement on a new distribution plan for an extra 15 percent cut on top of predicted federal reductions. Failing to do so would result in the federal government intervening. This time frame ended on Tuesday.

Officials from the United States Bureau of Reclamation held a press conference on Tuesday to announce reductions to the annual water allotment for the states of Arizona and Nevada, in addition to Mexico, which is also a signatory to the agreement.

The agency has decided to hold back about 21 percent of Arizona's annual water allotment and 8 percent of Nevada's allocation for the next year.

There will be no change to the allotment that California receives, and there are currently no urgent plans to make any adjustments to the Upper Basin.

“Everything blew up” in negotiations last week, Kyle Roerink, executive director at the Great Basin Water Network, told The Hill in an interview.  
“You had some parties bringing a good chunk of water to the table. Others didn’t even want to be bothered with coming to the table with anything meaningful,” Roerink said. As a result, as of Monday evening, the states had not reached an agreement “as the nation’s largest reservoirs rapidly deplete themselves.” 

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